It's not in my head! Proof the cabs are ripping me off
Anyone who travels knows there is a tourist price and a local price. With taxis you can sometimes avoid this by insisting they turn on the metre.
For the first week I was here I had great experiences with the cabbies. They seemed to be taking the most direct route and it's pretty cheap. About 50 pesos ($4.50ish Canadian) will get you a good way across this huge sprawling metropolis. But I've heard colleagues complaining that the drivers are demanding more than the metre or simply refusing to turn it on. Yesterday I finally encountered one of these fellas.
The drive was about 5 minutes and I spent most of that time asking him to turn on the metre. He just ignored me. When we arrived I pulled 20 pesos, which is about what it should have cost. He demanded 50. I said absolutely not. (To get a better picture, keep in mind he's yelling in Spanish, I'm arguing in English.) He eventually pulled out a sheet from his glove box. It was a tourist price sheet put together for taxis working with hotels. I told him I'd pay if I could take a photo.
According to this sheet, if I take a taxi to the Plaza del Sol, which is a 7 minute walk, and at most a 45 second drive from my hotel, I'd be charged 40 pesos. A 25 minute drive to the Omnilife Stadium, which I've made for 65 pesos, is billed as 100 - and the price goes up modestly at night to 110. And just for the record, I didn't catch this taxi at my hotel. Presumably, he is working with a hotel and was just en route back to base.
I get these Pan American Games is a great economic opportunity for Guadalajara, a city where the majority of people live in poverty and taxi drivers don't make much each day, but come on! Nothing leaves a more sour taste in someone's mouth than the feeling you're getting ripped off.
Then again, going back to my fight with the driver yesterday, when I realized I was haggling over $3 or $4 Canadian in a country where that feels like much, much more to the locals, I felt like a Grade A jerkus.